You know how when you watch a really good binge-worthy Netflix series, finish a page-turning bestseller or taste something so genuinely disgusting that it makes you wrinkle up your nose in utter disgust…
All you want to do is share it with the people you love? Right?
That’s kind of how I feel about launching my own business.
I just want to share. I want to share what is possible for my friends who may think that working for yourself is out of reach. It’s not. When I ask my former colleagues why they don’t want to strike out on their own, I’m often met with the following thoughts…myths. So I wanted to take a moment and debunk the most common ones.
Becoming a travel entrepreneur – travelpreneur means…
1. You have to sacrifice all your free time.
While it’s true that starting a business does take up a lot of time, it doesn’t have to come at the expense of family life or time spent with friends. Those images of the dishevelled-looking solopreneur who appears to be suffering from lack of sleep and proper self-care…are in parts true, but often self-inflicted from the love of the game.
Deepak Chopra talks about the seventh Law of Dharma in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Dharma is simply the Sanskrit word that means “Purpose in life.” Chopra suggests that we all have a unique gift/talent – our purpose. And once one finds one’s Dharma, it is easy to lose track of time in its pursuit… That’s kinda when you know you’ve found it. People who work towards a goal that lights them up often work longer hours, but it’s an unconscious choice.
If spending time with friends and family is part of your definition of success, having your own business allows the freedom to shape your schedule around those priorities – more so – not less so.
2. It’s too hard
The truth is… creating something you love and making it available to the world is not easy…it is hard. But it’s not TOO hard. How we view “hard” is a construct we generate in our heads.
Do you know what I think is hard? It’s getting up at the crack of dawn and making your way into an office every day. Working long hours for someone else’s dream and on someone else’s timeline – I think that is friggin’ hard. Doing what you love will feel challenging at first. You’ll be learning new skills and stepping outside of what feels comfortable, but that is where all the magic happens.
3. It costs too much money to start a business.
Sara Blakely had only $5000 to invest in Spanx when she started her entrepreneurial journey. Sara later became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire at age 41. And Spanx is a product-based company, and whereas selling travel is a service-based industry. Service-based companies require far fewer start-up funds since there are no raw materials necessary to purchase upfront.
The more money you have to invest in building your business is positively correlated to the speed your business grows, but you get to set that timeline. In a service-based business, advertising will be your most significant expenditure. But with advertising, the return on your investment is measurable, so who cares if you spend $500 on advertising if you gain $1000 back in commissions. That’s a no-brainer expense.
4. It requires a lot of risk.
Always bet on yourself is my motto… In this past year, I’ve seen many super talented people in the travel industry lose their livelihood because they gave up their control to someone else. Me included. Employers will always look after themselves first. They need to keep their ship afloat, and I don’t blame them. But don’t allow yourself to become just another statistic.
Of course, there is risk involved in striking out on your own, but there is nobody who has your best interests at heart more than yourself. You will always be a far more secure bet than someone else who will first and foremost look after their version of number one.
5. I am either too young or too old.
Starting a business has nothing to do with age – but you already knew that. Feeling like you don’t have all the necessary skills to start a business often shows up in the objection of “I’m too young” or “I’m too old.” Those are such flimsy excuses. Imposter syndrome is a real thing.
Whitney Wolfe Herd was only 24 when she started Bumble and now has eclipsed Sara Blakely as the youngest self-made female billionaire at age 31.
Conversely, Arianna Huffington was 55 when she launched The Huffington Post. Your ability to succeed in business has more to do with the thoughts you allow to roam in your mind rather than any amount of time you’ve spent on this earth.
I promise you…you are enough.
6. Entrepreneurs only care about money.
Entrepreneurs often get a bad rap. Many people think that all they care about are fancy cars and lavish lifestyles. But that’s not what the research shows. In a study done by Cox Business only 8% of small business owners cited money as the motivating factor for starting their business. The #1 reason that most entrepreneurs decide to start their own business…freedom. (see myth #1)
And there is nothing wrong with having a lot of money. Money doesn’t change you. It just magnifies the person you already are. The more money you amass, the more you have to help others out. Money is not a zero-sum game, and there is enough to go around for everyone.
7. Not everyone can become an entrepreneur.
The truth is…everyone CAN become a travel entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should.
The point I wanted to make in this article is that if you choose to continue to work for someone else, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just be sure you are doing it for the right reasons and not because you believe in one of the myths above.
I worked for someone else for the majority of my career and have no regrets. I loved so many elements of that life, but I also love the freedom to do things the way I want to do them now. For me…that is part of how I define my success.
What does success mean to you?
Is it really your definition or something you heard from your parents or read about in a magazine or saw on Instagram?
I want to end this post with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of my favourite thought leaders. This is his definition of success that I’ve unceremoniously stolen.
Are you meant to start your own business? Only you can answer that. And it’s easier to make that decision when you have a clear idea of how you view success and the most important things to you.
If you need help weighing the pros and cons, I’m here for you. Maybe you just need a boost getting to the next level and need someone to hold the flashlight for you while you make that step.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up an appointment below. I’d love to hear from you.Schedule Appointment